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Dutch Bucket Help!

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Old 06-24-2017, 05:13 PM
wlai wlai is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 1
Default Dutch Bucket Help!

I'm having trouble with my dutch bucket setup. I have the below setup:

The pump has adequate head as it's 160GPH at 4.0 ft and this is less.

When I first start the pump the flow is good. However it'll start losing flow gradually after about 30 mins, and eventually dries up. Turning off and restarting the pump will restore the flow. I'm running the pump constantly.

I've tried various things, thinking it has to do with trapped air. For example, sometimes when I wiggle the pump when I can feel it vibrating but not pumping water, there will be some air bubbles come out of the body. I've also tried adjusting the high point of the 1/2" horizontal pipe, with out success.

As the summer starts going and I am not home to constantly restart the pump, I'm afraid I'm going to lose the tomatoes. Any clues and hints on what to diagnose and look for?

Thanks in advance,


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Old 06-26-2017, 03:40 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Havasu AZ.
Posts: 1,825

Hello William,
First question I have is how do you kn ow the pump is adequate? GPH has very little to do with a pump being adequate. Second is I'm a bit confused by your diagram. Is the water feed ling going through the bottom of the buckets?
Lastly, according to your diagram you have three vertical feed lines. One going to each bucket. That may very well cause a problem, especially allowing air to get in the feed lines.

If it were me I would have the main feed line (one line) coming from the pump pumping above the buckets. Then running the three feed lines to each bucket from above. So instead of having three tubes trying to pump water up fighting back pressure in all three tubes. You only have one tube going up hill, and gravity feeds/flows downhill to all three buckets. Eliminating the possibility of pressure equalization issues and air getting into the lines.
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